The Eclectic Pen - THE GRACE OF THINGS UNSEEMLY


By: ROBERT J.   + 7 more  
Date Submitted: 2/23/2007
Last Updated: 2/26/2007
Genre: Cookbooks, Food & Wine » General
Words: 493
Rating:


  Beloveds, let me say at the outset that nutrition is not the subject, even peripherally, of our discussion today; although it might have been, were we discussing the sustenance of souls rather than of bodies. As you surely know by now, we are obliged to make good use of the gifts that are showered on us by the Creator, even when, as in this particular case, they are actually foisted on us by Winn-Dixie at 84 cents the pound--for indeed, coveted reader, that is what I paid for a package that purported to contain chicken thighs. And chicken thighs there were, to be sure, maybe two thirds by weight, including the bones. But the rest? CHICKEN SKIN! Thigh skin, as you might expect; but thigh skin connected to da (unh!) back skin, back skin connected to da (unh!) breast skin, breast skin connected to da (unh!) chin skin... and doo-dah!
Now, you might think you know where this discussion is heading: chicken chicanery, dubious advertising, corporate greed, spiritual demise of western civilization &c, but NO! There is a parable here, a gem of truth buried in the dungheap of life-as-it-is-lived. For consider: at 84 cents the pound, the two thirds that actually was what it purported to be, namely chicken thighs, bone in, comes out to $1.26 the pound, still a modest sum; and by this reckoning, the chicken skin was FREE!--an unmerited grace, a gift from the universe, freely given (indeed gladly disposed of) and, as we are obliged to contrive it, gratefully received.
So, as to the contrivance, should you ever find yourself in a similar spiritual dilemma, do what you will with the chicken thighs, but slice up the chicken skins and put them in a skillet over a medium flame, where they will, quickly and most obligingly, render chicken grease sufficient to deep-fry themselves. (Still with me?) When they turn a nice medium brown, pour off the grease; and, if you really want to wring ‘em out, put the craquelins on a paper towel in the microwave for 30 million nanoseconds or so. Meanwhile, add a little olive oil to the skillet along with some fresh thyme and rosemary, garlic and sliced green onions--you know, the usual suspects--and when these are sautéed into submission, add only enough white wine or marsala or dry vermouth or stock to get the goodness off the bottom of the pan. Spoon this into the split length of a french bread loaf, which you will have already slathered with mayonnaise (that’s my-naze for you pre- or post- literati, or for those of you who were force-fed fonics) and add the craquelins and a nice wad of shredded iceberg lettuce. Then grab a cold Dixie [beer: the local brew here in New Orleans]and a roll of paper towels, and sit yourself down to a ravishingly raunchy gustatory experience with no redeeming nutritional value whatsoever.


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Comments 1 to 5 of 5
IONE L. (zaneygraylady) - 2/23/2007 5:26 PM ET
great writing can't say I'll try it.
Holly B. (bluedevilbooklover) - 2/23/2007 7:05 PM ET
Love your writing!! I think I just might try that nifty recipe one day, even though I normally despise chicken thighs ... though definitely NO MY-NAZE for me! And I think I'd take an Abita Turbo Dog over the Dixie ... does that count as local? Anyway, keep up the great writing, showing us how to make fried chicken po'boys out of chicken thighs that were 1/3 skin!! (eeww)
Leonore P. (Grizabella) - 2/27/2007 4:26 AM ET
Cool. Liked it, may even try it!
Lena S. (SquirrelNutkin) - 6/1/2007 8:02 AM ET
I love your writing!
katzpawz - 7/27/2007 1:15 PM ET
Not sure, but I think I'm drooling!
Comments 1 to 5 of 5